Teaching Ethically as a Moral Condition of Professionalism

Authored by: Elizabeth Campbell

Handbook of Moral and Character Education

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415532334
eBook ISBN: 9780203114896
Adobe ISBN: 9781136293122


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From Alan Tom's initial identification of teaching as a moral craft (1984) to David Hansen's exploration of the moral heart of teaching (2001); from Goodlad, Soder, and Sirotnik's recognition of the moral dimensions of teaching (1990) to empirical studies that vividly reveal these dimensions (Jackson, Boostrom, & Hansen, 1993; Richardson & Fenstermacher, 2001), the academic and professional literature has increasingly illustrated how the moral aspects and complexities of K-12 teaching can be neither separated from the technical elements of instruction nor, worse, ignored as somehow extraneous to the central mission of education. Some connect these moral nuances, embedded in the daily life of classrooms and schools, to the professional role of the teacher and the ethical implications for professionalism more generally in teaching (Bergem, 1993; Campbell, 2003; Carr, 2000; Oser & Althof, 1993; Sockett, 1993; Strike & Soltis, 1992; Strike & Ternasky, 1993). Within a context that integrates consideration of the moral nature of teaching with applied professional ethics in teaching, this chapter explores the concept of teacher professionalism as being inseparable from what I define as the teacher's ethical knowledge. This knowledge relates to both how teachers conduct themselves in morally appropriate ways and how they engage in moral education.

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